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West Ham’s isolated Ayew made to suffer as Sakho is kept on the sidelines

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 November 2017

West Ham United's Andre Ayew and Everton's Mason Holgate battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

West Ham United's Andre Ayew and Everton's Mason Holgate battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

PA Wire/PA Images

Hammers boss David Moyes’ decision to play Ayew as lone striker backfired

Diafra Sakho of West Ham United Diafra Sakho of West Ham United

Say what you will about Andre Ayew, but one thing he is not is a lone striker able to hold the ball up and bring others into play.

But yet that was the role he was given at Goodison Park by David Moyes following a training ground injury to Andy Carroll.

It was a mistake and adds to the rumours coming out of the club that they are reluctant to start with Diafra Sakho because of his large appearance bonus.

If that is the case it is a misguided, shortsighted policy because you could see the moment that the Senegal international came on for the second half that this was a completely different West Ham team.

West Ham United's Andre Ayew (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. West Ham United's Andre Ayew (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

That is no criticism of Ayew. He has been in splendid form of late, scoring and creating goals in his best period at the club, but play him out of position and that is what you get – you might as well have played him in goal!

Ayew himself was hurting after this demoralising 4-0 defeat by Everton.

“There are no words,” he said forlornly. “We came here with lots of determination to do something and we leave with zero points and four goals conceded.”

There were mitigating circumstances. After a dreadful first half, West Ham came out all guns blazing after the break and laid siege to the Everton goal.

They won a penalty and it seemed they would be right back in it, only for Jordan Pickford to make a superb save from Manuel Lanzini’s spot-kick.

“We had an opportunity to come back to 2-1 and I think that would have maybe changed the game, because we came out for the second half with a lot of determination,” said the Ghana international, who found himself helped by the arrival of Sakho.

“It’s football. We came here with our confidence high after the Leicester game, but we conceded two early goals.

“It’s been frustrating, but we need to turn our season around.”

Easier said than done when your next three opponents are Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, all in the Premier League top four.

“It’s not going to be easy,” said the 27-year-old attacker, who has five goals to his name.

“It will be difficult as we have tough games coming up, but we need to tune our mind, fight and try and get the maximum points that we can from the games.”

Some would say that is nought points, but at the same time West Ham are not expected to get anything from these matches and that may just take a little pressure off them.

We shall see.

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